NBA News: US Baketball Team Ready for World Tournament
It’s been just two and a half weeks that this squad has been together and have played just five games, winning all of them and looking sharp as one of the favorites to win the next FIBA World Cup that will start in the Philippines next Saturday. Team USA has all the NBA Odds to look for that first place and championship of the world.
Getting Prepared for the Big Stage
Once the NBA campaign finished with its new championship team, they gathered around coaches, Steve Kerr, Erick Spoelstra, Tyronn Lue, and Mark Few (young, experienced, and winning coaches) and started recruiting the best young talent from the league. Banchero, Bridges, Brunson, Edwards, Haliburton, Hart, Ingram, Jackson Jr. Johnson, Kessler, Portis, and Reeves.
The Americans opened the tune-up schedule with a 117-74 win in Las Vegas over Puerto Rico. Anthony Edwards and Cam Johnson each scored 15 points and the US used a 20-0 run in the second half to win early that first preparation game.
The second game was in Spain, against Slovenia without Luka Doncic, The US won the game 92-62, and once again Anthony Edwards was the leader, scoring 15 points. This game was played in the city of Malaga, Spain.
The third game was against the powerful team of Spain, whom the US also defeated 98-88, with 22 points by Brunson, Spain is the current champion, who beat Argentina in the final of the 2019 tournament.
Then they flew to Abu Dhabi, for two more games, the first one against Greece which they beat 108-86, Anthony Edwards scored 21 points, Cam Johnson added 13 and the US never trailed, for their fourth game tuning up for the World Cup.
The last game before arriving on Saturday in the Philippines was against the German team. The US squad had all 12 players score, and Mikal Bridges and Bobby Portis each finished with 10 points. An 18-0 streak in the last minutes saved the Americans, who finished the preseason warmups 5-0.
Who Are the Contenders or Pretenders for this World Cup?
Let’s look at which teams can be contenders for this tournament:
Coach Nick Nurse, who did a great job after the 2019 World Cup, will not repeat for this version, O Canada will be coached by Jordi Fernandez, who serves as an associate coach for the Kings under Mike Brown.
Players from the NBA and Spanish league, like Kyle Alexander, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, RJ Barrett, Dillion Brooks, Kelly Olynyk, and big man Dwight Powell.
Some experts say they are stacked rosters but will struggle due to a lack of FIBA experience and cohesion at this level. Others think they have a talented, balanced, and hungry team for this Cup, after a disappointing 21st-place finish in China in 2019.
Another contender stacked with players from the NBA and Europe, figures like Rudy Gobert, Evan Fournier, and Nicolas Batum, and from European clubs, Guerschon Yabusele, Sylvain Francisco, and Elie Okobo. This team won the Gold Medal in the past Olympic Games in Tokyo; they even beat the US squad. They have the talent and experience to be playing to win the championship. It’s a team that can play both ends of the floor, Gobert will anchor their defense and they have numerous offensive weapons, if Fournier plays well, they have a great team.
Never dismiss a champion, regardless of their roster. They know how to win and are well-coached by Sergio Scariolo, they have a wealth of experience and a core group that has played together for years. Players like Rudy Fernandez, Santi Aldama, Sergio Llull, Victor Claver. The team that can be playing for the title.
Other teams that can give a surprise are Slovenia, Serbia, Australia, China, Japan, South Sudan, and Germany.
The US team will have a challenging task to try to bring back that first place against teams and rosters that have grown so much and are as good as the US, with good fundamentals and new basketball models that have made this sport grow tremendously. NBA Lines can give the US team a good chance to win it all.